Police are investigating after a sheep was “deliberately” shot dead in a field near Aberlour.
The blackface sheep was found dead in a field off the A95 at Carron, about half a mile from the turn-off for the Glenfarclas Distillery.
It was shot sometime between 8pm on Sunday, May 9, and 5pm on Monday, May 10.
The incident was described as “barbaric” by NFU Scotland.
Police are appealing for information as they investigate the incident.
Wildlife crime officer PC Hannah Haywood urged anyone who was in the area at the time to get in touch.
She said: “We believe the black faced sheep was deliberately shot and would like to speak to anyone who may have seen anything suspicious between Sunday evening and early evening on Monday.
“It is possible that someone may have parked a vehicle, or may have walked along part of the road. If you have dash-cam footage that might show information that would help with our inquiries then please get in touch.
NFU Scotland’s Director of Communications Bob Carruth said: “This is barbaric and wholly unacceptable.
“There is absolutely no excuse for this act under any circumstances and I would hope that the farming community and public will assist the police in any way they can.
“Our farmers have the upmost care for their animals’ well-being and for this to have happened is shocking. This will be a highly distressing crime for the farmer involved and a concerning one for the public given that a firearm has been used.
“We would ask that all who live and work in the area remain vigilant and urge them to report any suspicious activity or persons on the 101 number or 999 if a crime is in progress.”